Academic Identity: A Modern Perspective

Steven Anthony Quigley


The paper raises questions about the meaning of academic identity, discusses professionalism and asks what is a profession? Both trait and functionalist models are presented as a means of understanding these areas. Two key papers relating to academic identity - Henkel (2005) and Archer (2008) - are discussed, and then questions are asked regarding what is it to be an academic in modern times and what are the pressures under which academics work? These questions feed into a discussion on differences between, and the possible effects, of New Public Managerialism and ‘new managerialism’ on academic identity. ‘Blended’ professionals, the impact of organisational and academic structures on academic identity and other potential issues are also discussed. Finally, the paper offers both a framework and suggested questions to help academics focus their thoughts in terms of their own academic advancement.


Higher Education, staff development, New Public Managerialism, New Managerialism, Blended professionals, matrix structures

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